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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-25-2002
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Man over board drill

I just finished the ASA basic keelboat course and learned the figure eight method to retrieve man-over-board. I practiced it in action and on my simulator and it seemed pretty straightforward only time consuming. A website had several other alternatives including going windward heeling to and drifting back. My main question is #1 if you sail off on a beam reach get away from the person and have a spotter confirm location, what is the harm in cranking up the steel sail (old 5hp) and quickly getting back on course to location and shutting off the blade before you approach them. It seems quicker and would not have delays if you lost the wind. What are the accepted options? But remember, as far as sailing the course, the figure 8 seemed fine to me, just time consuming.
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Old 12-02-2002
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Man over board drill

4 of us recently did a series of MOB drills using the figure 8, the tencount beam reach out and back, and the engine. the recovery time for using the engine was the longest. We spent several hours practicing this and debating what we were doing after each drill.
I strongly recommend that every time you are out sailing, you practice this drill and draw your own conclusions. The one we liked the best was the ten-count beam reach out and back, because it can be done with one person--no crew, no spotter. Under engine, we actually lost sight of an orange Scotty.
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Old 12-02-2002
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Man over board drill

Maxcontax,

Thanks for the research, especially that using the engine was the slowest MOB method. Also, you''re right on that we all should practice these drills more often. On my boat, I treat every hat or cushion overboard as a chance to practice MOB procedures when I have crew along. That at least provides some practice. But since I primarily singlehand, I really work hard at not having a MOB to begin with. It does make one think of the possibilities of course.
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Old 12-02-2002
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Man over board drill

We participated with about a dozen other boats in a Storm Trysail Club Seminar this summer with Junior Crews from all over Long Island Sound at Larchmont Yacht Club. Dills were run using the "quick-stop" method, which seemed pretty effective in the light chop, 10-15knt conditions. On our boat I tossed a cushion over about 8 times in a 90 minute period. The boat is immediately turned head to wind, and then around to retrieve the victim. The crew deals with getting the headsails - jib and/or spinnaker - down and away so the boat can maneuver under the main alone while a spotter keeps tabs on the "victim". Our biggest challenge was approaching the "victim" too fast. A real person could have had his arms pulled off at the speed we often passed the cushion. That''s why having drills is a good idea - it showed the different helmspeople (and the rest of the crew) things they need to work on improving.
Engines weren''t used for several reasons. Fouling a line in the prop during the rush to douse sails could create problems worse than just disabling the motor. Losing a blade or the shaft itself to an entanglement could endanger the entire boat. The noise can also make communication difficult.
Maneuvering under sail also enables reduced freeboard on the leeward side to make recovery easier.

We all learned a lot. The focus this year was on turning around quickly. I believe our slowest time (drop to p/up) was about eight minutes, and we improved, even when having to douse the chute in the middle of a jybe. Next year we can perhaps focus more on "victim" recovery, and make that more realistic with a greased watermelon. The main item is to have a drill and practice it so everyone has an idea of what needs to be done and what they can do so it happens.
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Old 12-03-2002
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Man over board drill

This is great conversation. Why? Because I have sailed a hobie 18, sailed with someone who owned a 21 and took ASA lessons on a two day course. Now I''m refinishing my own boat and have some anxiety about taking my family out. We will be in bay only, I have read and re-read all the safety sections of the manuals, but we definitely will practice and my kids will wear type II''s at all times.

The part I found most interesting was the motor drill. That was going to be my "bail-out" procedure.

Next question, If the sails are trimmed and you are say close-hauled and sailing solo and you fall off. What happens to the boat? When you release the tiller, will it eventually steer it to head-to-wind or are you SOL? Can it continue to run down the bay?
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Old 12-05-2002
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Man over board drill

This would depend on the boat and trim. In some conditions, some boats will sail themsevles - obviously meaning a solo skipper is SOL. Many boats will head up with a loose tiller, but the overboard skipper will still need a way to get on board from the water, which is a lot easier said than done. We here on Lake Michigan just lost a single handed skipper who went over, and even though tethered to his boat, was not able to get back on board. His boat, with him attached and dead, was found on the beach. If youhave autopilot, as this skipper did, your boat will keep going, either leaving you or dragging you.
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Old 12-06-2002
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Man over board drill

I know many of you were hoping it was me....wrong.
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Old 12-06-2002
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Man over board drill

RookieHunter,
If the rake of your mast and the tension of your stays is set up right, and you can do this, the boat close-hauled should/could have slight weather helm and round up into the wind if you exit aft. Then it would either sit in irons or maybe heave-to. But you can''t count on this.
Once you get some confidence with your boat, tweak the rigging and set it up. If you are going to use a safety harness and lanyard for rough weather, carry a knife in case the boat sails off and you have to be free of her.
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